Paul Bunyan and Babe.

Trees Of Mystery

Field review by the editors.

Klamath, California

Mysterious trees are familiar sites to Roadsiders. However, America's only Trees Of Mystery billed as such are in California, at the northern end of that state's Redwood Exploitation Zone, and prove that you need not be a magician to turn wood into gold.

Giant statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox guard the entrance of Trees of Mystery, as a mid-morning crowd pours off the coast highway to embrace freaky Redwood hoo-ha. Paul's right hand gives a continual sluggish wave as his breast-pocket loudspeaker greets all who enter in cheery lumberjack fashion. "Hiya, kids. Hi, folks."

Blue Babe

Most of Paul's banter involves describing the clothes that people at his feet are wearing, so they don't think he's a recording. "Hello,'re wearing a blue sweatshirt! And the lady next to you is wearing a green jacket!" He'll also answer your size questions (Paul is 49 ft. tall, has a 24 ft. long ax, and 10 ft. high boots).

A forest trail winds its way past Paul, up into a giant, hollow, redwood log, and then back to the actual mystery trees, the ones shaped like pretzels and DNA strandoids. "Entirely by the forces of nature," you are reminded. Recorded messages recite each mystery.

Baby Bunyan.

The trail takes you to the Cathedral Tree, a cluster of nine redwoods growing out of a single root in a tight semicircle. Pompous music plays over hidden loudspeakers while Nelson Eddy croons Albert Joyce Kilmer's poem, "Trees."

"I think that I shall never seeeeee,
a po-em lovely as a treeeeeee...."

Signs inform appropriately awestruck visitors that countless weddings have been performed at this most beautiful of redwood spots


The last section of the Trees Of Mystery recounts the exploits of tree-biter Bunyan, told through audiotaped "tall tales" and redwood chainsaw carvings. One can only wonder what Joyce Kilmer would've thought of it.

The gift store is a model for other tourist attractions. Bucking the trend of souvenir standardization, it features many customized mementos, like gold-trimmed shot glasses commemorating Trees of Mystery's 50th anniversary. According to a historic display, the original Bunyan, constructed in 1946, lasted only one year. Paul's head, made of paper mache, melted in the winter rains and caved in.

Also see: Big-Tree Drive Thru

Trees Of Mystery

15500 US Hwy 101 N., Klamath, CA
16 miles south of Crescent City and 36 miles south of the Oregon state line on on US Hwy 101.
Summer daily 8-8, off-season 9-5. (Call to verify)
Adults $16.
RA Rates:
The Best
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Douglas Memorial Bridge MemorialDouglas Memorial Bridge Memorial, Klamath, CA - 5 mi.
Memorial To Captain Courageous - Hero Floating BullMemorial To Captain Courageous - Hero Floating Bull, Klamath, CA - 5 mi.
Tour-Thru TreeTour-Thru Tree, Klamath, CA - 5 mi.
In the region:
Disturbing Sculptures Art Gallery, Crescent City, CA - 12 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in California

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in California.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

May 26, 2017

My Sights

My Sights

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Stumpy's Hatchet House, Eatontown, New Jersey (May 22-28, 2017)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now! Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Klamath, California

Nightly rates found:

Find Hotels Near:

Book Online Now